Gerald Knight, tenor, is a graduate of The Florida State University (Ph.D. in Music Education and Conducting); the University of South Carolina (Master of Music Education and the Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance); and Benedict College (Bachelor of Science in Music Education). Knight is an Associate Professor of Music and serves as Coordinator of Music Education, Director of the Elon University Chorale, and Director of the Music in the Village, a successful community outreach project that recently received the Chapter of Excellence Award from the North Carolina Music Educator’s Association. The project also received the Chapter of Excellence Award form the National Association for Music Education.
In 2013 Knight sang in master classes during the Mozarteum Internationale Sommerakademie at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg in Salzburg, Austria. In the summer of 2012 Knight appeared in recital for the 2012 season of the Salzburg International Chamber Music Concert Series in Salzburg, Austria. The recital was dedicated to the works of American and African American composers. In addition, he has studied voice and vocal pedagogy with renowned opera singer and Kennedy Center Honoree Grace Bumbry for the past five years. He also continues to coach with distinguished soprano, Louise Toppin, Chair of the Vocal Area at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
Knight’s scholarship focus is the research and performance of music of Black composers, multicultural music, the music of lesser-known or unknown composers, and newly composed music. His scholarly work also investigates the intersections of race and classical music, for example, examining perceptions of African American musicians as performers and teachers of the Western classical tradition. Another scholarship focus is vocal pedagogy, an area he has had the opportunity to research and study with Ms. Bumbry.
Under Knight’s direction, the University Chorale recently gave the world premiere performance of the choral work “Of Dance and Struggle: A Musical Tribute to the Life of Nelson Mandela” composed by Karen Walwyn. The performance was a multimedia presentation consisting of singing, dance, African drummers, and visual technology. He has made scholarly presentations in the area of his research interests at national conferences. Knight, recently presented a lecture presentation The Sacred Works of Margaret Bonds at the national conference “Margaret Allison Bonds (1913-1972) and the Women of Chicago”, the conference was held on the campuses of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University.